If blocking Twitter is like putting a single phone number out of service, intercepting the DNS is like giving users an entire, fraudulent new phone book—and it’s a troubling escalation against Turkish internet users. The ban began with Twitter, used largely for the discussion of news and politics, then expanded to YouTube, which is far more popular in Turkey because people use it for entertainment as well. A 2012 paper estimates that a quarter of Turks over 18 had a YouTube account, compared to just a tenth for Twitter.

Turkey’s online censorship just took a sinister Orwellian turn - Quartz

A US court just ruled that censorship by search engines is a form of free speech

A US District Court judge dismissed a lawsuit March 27 that accused Chinese search engine Baidu of illegally suppressing free speech by censoring information about democracy movements in China on the internet. The decision raises some unsettling questions about the world’s dependency on a handful of search engines.

The group of activists who brought the suit said Baidu’s government-mandated censorship was preventing Baidu’s users in the US from seeing their work, and thus violated their right to free speech under the US constitution’s First Amendment. Judge Jesse M. Furman’s paradoxical conclusion was that forbidding Baidu from censoring results would be a violation of its right to free speech

» via Quartz

Russia Blocks Access to Major Independent News Sites

Russia’s government has escalated its use of its Internet censorship law to target news sites, bloggers, and politicians under the slimmest excuse of preventing unauthorized protests and enforcing house arrest regulations. Today, the country’s ISPs have received orders to block a list of major news sites and system administrators have been instructed to take the servers providing the content offline.

The banned sites include the online newspaper Grani, Garry Kasparov’s opposition information site kasparov.ru, the livejournal of popular anti-corruption crusader Alexei Navalny, and even the web pages of Ekho Moskvy, a radio station which is majority owned by the state-run Gazprom, and whose independent editor was ousted last month and replaced with a more government-friendly director.

» via Electronic Frontier Foundation

But the Chinese government’s sudden decision to restore access to Dropbox isn’t a sign that the San Francisco-based company will enjoy a sudden uptick in business from Chinese users. For one thing, connection to overseas servers from China is painfully slow, as Tech In Asia points out. Furthermore, domestic cloud storage services providers have proliferated over the past few years, thanks in part to support from the Chinese government.

Dropbox Now Accessible For The First Time In China Since 2010 | TechCrunch

This week, the Kids’ Right to Read Project, a group that monitors book censorship, said the number of challenges to books reported to the group increased by 53% in 2013.

Is book banning increasing in American schools and public libraries? - latimes.com

North Korea News’ Chad O’Carroll noticed that over 100,000 articles on the website for the state-run news agency, KCNA, went missing over the last few days. Another expert showed O’Carroll that the state-run newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, is also missing roughly 20,000 articles. At least 35,000 of the missing KCNA articles were the original Korean drafts, while the Japanese, English and Chinese translations account for the rest. With a few exceptions — usually glowing articles about President Kim Jong-un — the KCNA archives now begin on October 1, 2013.

North Korea Erased Its Official Online News Archives - The Wire

"The question of ‘who is it that’s got the off switch for our connectivity’ started to be asked because of Egypt," said Berners-Lee. "It’s a rather obvious thing you can see happening, and a country that does that doesn’t get very far. Turning off the Internet got the youths onto the streets because that’s what they had left to do. So blocking of the Internet is kind of obvious. And censorship in places like China is obvious too when it comes to blocking whole websites. It’s hard to pretend it doesn’t exist when the rest of the Web has links to those websites. "But spying is this insidious form, because of its chilling effect if you feel someone’s looking over your shoulder, there’s all kinds of things you will not do… [You’re not going to be] able to use facilities because of nameless fear."

Berners-Lee: Insidious government surveillance may be worse than outright censorship | Ars Technica

I believe there’s a real chance that we can eliminate censorship and the possibility of censorship in a decade,” Google Chairman Eric Schmidt said recently at Johns Hopkins University. “The solution to government surveillance is to encrypt everything.

Google’s Schmidt Predicts Government Censorship Can Vanish In A Decade | TechCrunch

A great library is like the City of Paris, in which there are about eight hundred thousand persons: you do not live with the whole crowd: you choose a certain society, and change it. So with books: you choose a few friends out of the many. There will be seven or eight thousand controversial books, and fifteen or sixteen thousand novels, which you will not read: a heap of pamphlets, which you will throw into the fire after you have read them. The man of taste will read only what is good; but the statesman will permit both bad and good.

Happy birthday, Voltaire! The beloved author on the perils of censorship, the freedom of the press, and the rewards of reading. (via explore-blog)

(via explore-blog)

In the call late last month, Mr. Winkler defended his decision, comparing it to the self-censorship by foreign news bureaus trying to preserve their ability to report inside Nazi-era Germany, according to Bloomberg employees familiar with the discussion. “He said, ‘If we run the story, we’ll be kicked out of China,’ ” one of the employees said. Less than a week later, a second article, about the children of senior Chinese officials employed by foreign banks, was also declared dead, employees said. Mr. Winkler said in an email on Friday that the articles in question were not killed. “What you have is untrue,” he said. “The stories are active and not spiked.”

Bloomberg News Is Said to Curb Articles That Might Anger China - NYTimes.com